In response to "M is for Massive" from The Escapist Forum: Interesting article. Quick query - in your last page, you assert that any game can be massive. Does that mean you'd think, for example, a game like TF2 qualifies as an MMOFPS due to the nature of it having a colossal, at least somewhat cohesive community? I'd certainly agree, though I'd never thought of it in that way. I think a part of the 'MMO' (though I know you only focus on the first 'm') seems to have connotations of unspoken 'RPG' so that even if it is -not- an RPG, people expect elements, because it is an MMO. Certainly, we're outgrowing (or growing into and expanding) our vocabulary and intent when it comes to online gaming.
Funny thing is that you often end up playing with more people in non-MMO games than true MMO's. Games like WoW may have billions of people, but you still only interact with a relatively small group at any given time. Except for raids, you often are alone or with a small party. Halo has millions of people playing at any time, and when you jump online you're pretty much always playing on large teams.
So how is a 32-man TF2 game less massively than a 32-man raid party? How are the millions of people outside the dragon's cave different from the millions of people playing on different servers?
Just my food for thought.
Also, I'll be damned if any of my raids were as satisfying as a simple 4v4 CTF on a Quake Live server, which has something like 600,000 active accounts...MMOFPS, somewhat? Not like Planetside, but in its own sense. :)
Starcraft may be a MMORTS, in its own sense, too, but not about to get into it.
I think the only real difference are things like Wintergrasp battles that end up being like 300v300 sometimes, (but even then it devolves into smaller skirmishes most of the time), or the way EVE has more than 300,000 players on just one server, (though every star system is instanced as far as I know), and TF2 will never create an environment like that.
But Steam and its players might create the same community that would come of sitting in trade chat talking and interacting with the other hundreds of players online - because even in WoW, it's not like you play with every single one of your friends all at once.
The International Game Developers Association could be a force for positive change in the industry - but first it needs to change itself.
Exactly how are they gonna do this without interference from the mega publishers? Take Two, Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, Blizzard/Activision...
I'm sure these big wigs enjoy the freedom in laying off workers once a game has completed development. They wouldn't just sit by and allow a serious union to form...
Actually...scratch that. Not every developer would join IGDA...and given the current technological feats we have...where developers from the east can divvy up certain assignments for others in the west, I don't think there is a real threat of boycott...
It seems to me that the biggest way the IGDA can make a difference is through direct benefits to its members (such as the subsidized legal services idea mentioned in the article). I really don't see how how any of the other proposed changes would do anything since the IGDA doesn't have the bargaining power a union does. An angry letter from the IGDA condemning Kotick is still going to be an empty gesture, even if every developer in the industry is a member.